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Prospect Park

New Art In Prospect Park: Leonard Ursachi’s Hiding Place

Friday, May 4, 2007
No. 49

Parks & Recreation, in cooperation with the Prospect Park Alliance, is pleased to announce the opening of Leonard Ursachi’s exhibition Hiding Place. The sculpture will be on view from May 5 through August 31, 2007 at the entrance to Prospect Park facing Grand Army Plaza (Flatbush Ave., Eastern Parkway, and Prospect Park West). There will be a press preview with the artist on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 3:00 p.m.; following the press preview, there will be a public reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Hiding Place, a cylindrical bunker made from willow branches, is over 8-feet tall and 8-feet in diameter. The shelter has three "windows" with mirrors instead of glass.

"Because Hiding Place lacks a door and its windows are reflective shields, viewers can only imagine its interior," said Ursachi. "It is a receptacle for imagining and the yearning through which its simple iconic form may shift from bunker to refuge to nest-home. With this sculpture, I continue my investigation of the world of porous borders, vulnerable shelters, and mutating identities that is the 21st century experience of home."

"Just as the birds are busy weaving their nests, Leonard Ursachi’s own willow nest in Prospect Park inspires contemplation about the meaning of home," said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Hiding Place’s placement in Grand Army Plaza, home to the Soldiers and Sailors monument, is fitting as the work also resembles a bunker thus furthering Ursachi’s examination of the shifting definition of a shelter."

"Prospect Park is such a wonderful setting to display art," said Prospect Park Alliance President Tupper Thomas. "Especially a work like this that references nature and engages viewers’ imagination. We’re very happy to host Ursachi’s sculpture."

Leonard Ursachi, a Brooklyn-based artist, left his native Romania in 1980 and has exhibited his work internationally. This is his third public art project with Parks & Recreation. Ursachi exhibited an earlier version of Hiding Place next to a 15th century stone fortress in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.

Parks & Recreation’s public art program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks. The program includes approximately 20 temporary art installations per year in New York’s flagship and neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and traffic islands.


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The Prospect Park Well House is under reconstruction in order to build a new composting latrine. The park remains open while the building gets reconstructed.
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